A little Irish without the Blarney

The Irish House Party
Theatre Severn

At last a theatre show that has come out of Ireland without the dross that usually follows. We saw no green Guinness, no leprechauns and no tricolour wigs; instead we got six incredibly talented and delightful musicians who simply wanted to bring the sound of Ireland without the ludicrous plasticity that so many of the drunken English lining the streets of every Patrick’s Day procession, think that Irish culture is about.

Such is the Irish House Party. A band reminiscent of the Chieftains,  the House Party was alive with the sounds of Uileean pipes, Bodrhan, Whistles and Flutes, Harp and the strings department provided some inspired Banjo and Guitar work.

Between them they conjured up images of the cliff tops of Kerry, the rocky roads of Mullingar, the characters of the Dublin pubs and all served up in such tight and exciting music. Each note was a jewel, each beat urging the observer to jump up and grab the nearest partner and whirl a handsome jig. Sadly I believe the average age of the audience would have prevented such hilarity. However the music was infectious and entered the psyche in seconds.

The unique selling point is there is no pretentions amongst this highly approachable and highly entertaining band. Without all the ballyhoo that people wrongly associate with Irish music we saw players who will I am sure make as much of a mark on Irish music as the greats that have gone before.

Ireland is alive with incredibly talented musicians, in every county there are players who will, rather like these guys, very earnestly, play something utterly amazing for you. Not to look good, but simply because the spirit of the music is in them and to try and confine it would be impossible. Well The Irish House Party is made up of those kinds of players and the musicality just oozes out of every number. I think the beautiful Irish dancer stole a few hearts in the audience. This reviewer's for one!

Not afraid of incorporating new songs such as U2’s, Where the streets Have No Name, and Dougie Maclean’s, Caledonia, the two 50 minutes sets had the audience spellbound as they deliciously served out note after perfect note. This is the first tour over in the UK for the Party and if they can continue to raise the crack to ninety, I can only imagine we will see so much more of them on the British Folk Scene and so we should.
Owen Lewis


Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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